Georgia Regents Won't Appeal University Admissions Case to Supreme Court. (Atlanta)

Article excerpt

ATLANTA

A court ruling declaring the University of Georgia's admissions policy unconstitutional because it considers race will not be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Board of Regents said last month. Instead, the university will focus on recruitment efforts to increase the number of Black students, the regents said.

The case had been seen as a potential vehicle for a Supreme Court ruling on race-conscious admissions, but university President Michael Adams said similar admissions cases in other states may fare better.

"We understand the legal posture and reasons for not going forward to the Supreme Court with this case," he says. "But this in no way means that the University of Georgia's commitment to achieving diversity has lessened one iota."

University system Chancellor Stephen Poach says he consulted Adams, the regents, Gov. Roy Barnes, the attorney general's office and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund before making the decision.

"This is not the best case to pursue the issue of whether diversity is a compelling state interest," says Ted Shaw of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "It's a simple matter of putting your best foot forward."

That best foot, Shaw says, likely will be a pair of cases pending before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The lawsuits challenge affirmative-action policies in admitting students to the University of Michigan's undergraduate and law schools. The university administration is fighting to continue the policies.

At the University of Georgia, the first 80 percent to 90 percent of applicants who gain admission are accepted almost entirely based on their grade-point averages and SAT scores. …